My First Letter

In her teens, my grandmother Carol was sent from St Vincent in the West Indies to boarding school in England. As earlier posts have shown, her headmistress, Miss Lefroy, not only ran the school, but found families for Carol to stay with during holidays, met Carol’s brother and brother-in-law, and gradually became her friend. When Carol returned to England as a young mother, she and her 4-year-old daughter Cynthia stayed with Miss Lefroy in London before going north to live in Newcastle. When Cynthia went to boarding school in York as a teen, Miss Lefroy, visiting her headmistress, took the girl out to lunch, and remained involved in her life. Carol and Cynthia stayed with Miss Lefroy in London- on holidays, during the war, in times of crisis. Even though both left England, the exchange of letters continued, and at the beginning of September 1951, the third generation gets her first letter.

September 1951.

Dear little Linda Carol.

We are very glad to hear that you have arrived safely & we hope that you are well & happy & will like being here, & have a very happy useful life, making your Mummy & Daddy & Grannie very happy & proud of you.

Chris & I both send love to your Mummy & Daddy & Grannie- and we hope soon to hear that you are all safely now in Canada – in a very nice comfy home for you all, with flowers & pet animals near to amuse you.

We are not having a bit nice weather here – it is cold & wet, raining & blowing like winter not summer – & we see in the papers that USA has a heatwave, so we hope that you all will like it  we would not.

Very much love to you all four from two loving friends, 

                              Amy Lefroy & Chris Hall

Cynthia dear,

Very hearty congratulations on managing it all so well & happily, & I hope that having your mother with you will make things easier for you especially facing a move soon. 

I wonder if Linda will be tall like her Daddy or petite like her dear little Mama – or midway!!

Love & congratulations from Chris & me & greetings to Cecil. I expect he is a very proud papa! 

                  Yours always 


I’m pretty sure my parents were happy and proud of me at that stage of my life, and I’m sure Miss Lefroy would have been pleased that I followed her example and became a teacher. (Although not a headmistress!)

2 thoughts on “My First Letter”

  1. Hello Linda,
    I’m transcribing my great aunt Christobel Robinson’s letters and there may be a connection to your Miss Lefroy. I should begin by saying our Robinsons in Toronto were connected to the Lefroys by marriage (Christobel’s had Leroy first cousins who lived in England). In one of Christobel’s letters, post war about 1919 I believe, she mentions a Mrs Scharlieb. When I looked her up I found Miss Amy Lefroy, teacher, in the Scharlieb household in 1891 in London! This may be the connection between Christobel and the friend that C was hoping to visit at Mrs S’s. I cannot place Amy within ‘our’ Lefroy family, but it is a large and sprawling family and maybe it’s just a co-incidence that a friend of C.R.’s is living with Mrs (Dr!) Scharlieb. Do you happen to know anything about Amy’s family which might help me sort that out? Many thanks. It’s terrific that people have the ability to create websites like this one!
    Judy Snider
    Hamilton Ontario


  2. Fascinated to read your ‘First Letter’. Amy Lefroy was my mother’s Great Aunt. I have inherited some of her correspondence and furniture from the Streatham School. She looked after my grandmother and then my mother and her twin sister in London and had a say in their education. She was also an early champion of girls’ education and active in the suffrage movement. My Grandmother was an Irish Lefroy, born in British Columbia, who was also looked after by Aunt Amy on her arrival in London.


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